Recovering files from broken NAS (network attached storage)

After few years, even after little use, my Lacie 1000 Gb NAS went broken. When powering it up, the hard disk did not spin, but a smoke started to come up from the back side of the box close to the power cord. The power connector melted, but there were no other visual damage.

The only way to recover files was to take the hard drive out from the box and get it directly connected with a PC. Luckily I had an USB to SATA adapter, so the connection was easy. When connecting it into a windows 10 machine, it showed that the USB drivers were working fine, but there were no new hard drive available. The figure below shows the opened NAS box on the right, and the detached hard drive on the center. (The usb drive on the left is to make the backup into that one.)


After a little search, the reason became clear: this model has a ARMv5 compatible SoC (System on Chip) which can run linux and that the filesystem in the drive is most propably xfs (ie. not recognized by Windows OS) . In this device, the CPU is 88F6281, which seems suitable for these NAS devices.



And then after connecting the drive into xubuntu linux in VirtualBox, then files became accessable:-)


The other USB drive was also connected to the same xubuntu, after which it was possible to copy the files. The printout below shows the xfs for sdb2 (NAS disk) and ntfs for sdc1 (USB drive).

traveler@TravelBox:~$ sudo lsblk -o NAME,FSTYPE,SIZE,MOUNTPOINT,LABEL
NAME    FSTYPE     SIZE MOUNTPOINT                     LABEL
sda                  8G
+-sda1  ext4       6,5G /
+-sda2               1K
+-sda5  swap       1,5G
        swap       1,5G [SWAP]
sdb              931,5G
+-sdb1               1K
+-sdb2  xfs      929,6G /media/traveler/537daead-0d83-
+-sdb5  swap       251M
+-sdb6             7,8M
+-sdb7  linux_ra   7,8M
+-sdb8  linux_ra 831,5M
+-sdb9  ext3       855M /media/traveler/2f3bc6b9-d96a-
+-sdb10            7,8M
sdc                1,8T
+-sdc1  ntfs       1,8T /media/traveler/Seagate Backup Seagate Backup Plus Drive
sr0               1024M

Other Links

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CryptSync, a simple alternative to protect your files for sharing

CryptSync is simple and easy to use tool to synchronize 2 folders, where the files in the destination folder are encrypted. (CryptSync is using 7-Zip for the encryption.)


In this way, one can perform client side encryption when sharing several files. Each file is encrypted individually with the same password, and it is only the encrypted files that are stored in the untrusted media (see figure below). It is possible to use CryptSync in a portable way by copying the files without installation on the second computer.



Depending on the use case, like which client operating systems need to be supported and which media is used to sharing, then there are several other alternatives like Cryptomator and Syncany. (It is possible to use cryptomator without installation, with jar file, if using JPortable from portableapps.). However, they are a little more complex than the CryptSync. One also could reuse the same idea, and DIY (do it yourself) with a scripting tool, like autoit

For sharing one file at at time over untrusted media or via email, then one could directly use 7-Zip or tool like AxCrypt, which is nicely integrated with Explorer (there exist a portable version as well AxCrypt2Go.exe).


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Survey of ISO certifications, results for 2015

ISO is having surveys about number of ISO certifications, it is worth to have a look :-)

The table below is taken from the executive summary.

ISO survey 2015-001

There are also excel files available for each ISO standard that shows certifications per country or industry… For example for ISO 27001, the total number over the years is shown below.

ISO survey 2015-002

Posted in ICT Leadership and Management, ICT Standards, Security Certifications, Security Management, Security Standardization and Practises, Security Training, Awareness and Reports | Comments Off

Study report “Women in Cybersecurity”, by several co-authors

It is worth to have a look at the recent study report called The 2017 Global Information Security Workforce Study: Women in Cybersecurity.

It can be found at the research page od the the Center for Cyber Safety and Education, or directly here.

Women in cybersecurity

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Flowgorithm, a visual programming tool with source code generation

Flowgorithm is one of the visual programming tools available today.


  • visual programming, focus is more on the modelling on how to solve the problem than on the syntax of programing language like java, c# or python.
  • can generate code in many programming languages


  • so far there is no way to read and write files

The figure below shows when execution is ongoing in slow speed. One can see where the execution is, both in the big flowchart and in the source code window (in this case Java). In addition, there is variable window (lower left) showing that 2 lotto numbers had been generated so far. The console window on the lower right is used for input and output operations.



The figure below is the clipboard copy of the flowchart in flowgorithm. The tool can also export in emf and svg formats.


Visual program file for lotto

This file is zipped. unzip in order to get the “Lotto.fprg” file.

Testing the java source

The generated java code worked well, as can be seen in the figure below. DrJava (portable) was used to compile and run the code. There was only 1 minor tweak needed (ie. one needed to initialize the NewNumber variable, see line “int NewNumber = 0;”)




  • Another similar tool is Raptor, but with different features (read/write files, some basic graphics)
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Morse Learner, tool for learning the morse code (receiving and sending)

Morse Learner is a portable and handy software for learning both the receiving and sending of morse code (chraracters made of DAHs and DITs).

In the beginning it starts with small set of characters. And there are options to change the speed etc.

Receiving mode


Sending mode


In this tool, it is also possible to use a real morse key. In the picture below, the USB-RS232 cable is used. In the serial connector DB9, pins 7 and 8 are connected to the morse key. (The morse key is a simple 15 € key.)



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Portable OCR tools to extract text from scanned pages

In addition to previously mentioned gImageReader, these 2 other portable OCR tools worked well in the following scenarios:

For PDF-XChange Viewer one might need to install language package first. (The installation folder is “PortableApps\PDF-XChangeViewerPortable\App\PDFV_Portable”).

Please note, that also IrfanView has a plugin for OCR. It is called KADMOS and is available via plugin page or here. However, for some reason the results were not good for the cases where I needed OCR.

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